This is the second in a series of blog posts on BLOOM’s project with Mountainoak Cheese exploring water management opportunities. Part 1.
Last week I headed down to New Hamburg again as part of our integrated water management project with Mountainoak Cheese. This time it was to oversee the installation of a permanent water meter. This may not sound like much, but for many small producers like Mountainoak, it’s a big first step towards better water management and improved sustainability.
Mountainoak recognized they needed to better manage their water if they are going to have a sustainable water supply to support their growth plans. They decided to purchase and install a permanent meter that would continuously measure total water consumption.
The permanent meter was purchased from Veronics and installed by Mountainoak’s local plumber in less than an hour. It’s an electromagnetic flow meter that was selected for its reliability, low maintenance requirements, and relatively low cost (slightly over $1,000 for the meter and power supply). Readings will be taken manually from the screen once a day to track water use.
In addition, BLOOM is helping Mountainoak install temporary meters to understand how much water is being used in specific processes and areas of their operation including livestock, milk production, and cheese making.
This information will allow Mountainoak to establish baselines and benchmark key performance indicators, set targets, and see how process improvements and production growth are affecting their water use.
Over the winter, we will be gathering and analysing data on total water use and water used in specific processes to identify opportunities to improve. So stay tuned for the next post where I will examine the results and identify critical areas.